The FR safety vest is a high visibility ANSI Class vest that meets the additional and very strict standards of the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) and the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials).
The letters "FR", stand for fire resistant, flame resistant or fire retardant. FR vests are not 100% fireproof, however, they are much more resistant to flames and sparks than the typical ANSI Class safety vest.
While they're not meant for long-term direct exposure to open flames, FR safety vests are highly useful where occasional or short term exposure may occur. They're also ideal for situations where workers are constantly exposed to embers, sparks or materials that are under extreme temperatures which could easily ignite a more flammable material. A few examples where the FR safety vest would be beneficial to workers is when their job duties require cutting or sawing of metals, welding, foundry work, exposure to high voltages or controlled burning. They are often also used as an extra preventative measure for fire officials, police and emergency response personnel as there's no telling what type of situation their duties may require them to tend to.
What's the difference?
It's important to know and be aware of the differences that can be encountered when choosing and FR safety vest because they're not all rated the same. ASTM rated FR vests are made from materials that are inherently flame resistant, while NFPA rated vests are generally treated with flame resistant chemicals or coatings. Usually, a FR vest will meet both standards, but there are occasions when you'll find an FR vest that only meets one or the other. Additionally, not every FR vest adheres to the same ANSI class standards, so be sure to clearly understand what compliance standards need to be met and then purchase accordingly.
The FR safety vest is becoming more and more popular in the workplace. As safety concerns continue to take growing priority, preventative measures have increased and thus the demand for FR safety gear continues to increase. As we stated earlier, many professions require workers to be involved in scenarios that are ever-changing; therefor the FR vest is an additional measure of caution for when there's even the slightest chance that fire may pose a threat. A few industries that have adopted this methodology is the oil industry, shipyards, and utility workers.
Plenty of Options
FR safety vests are a bit more expensive than a regular vest, yet are still available in plenty of style and colors with varying options. There are FR surveyors vests, breakaway vests, incident command vests, police vests and more.
If high visibility is a job requirement, consider if an FR rated vest can offer you additional protection. Nobody plans to have an accident but it's better to be prepared for the worst. The added protection just might turnout to be a lifesaver someday.
Visit our FR Safety Vests page to view a complete selection of fire resistant vests today.